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Hillary Clinton chats through Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein onstage during a panel conversation in 2014 the the Clinton Foundation"s Clinton global Initiative.

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The Clinton foundation and the Trump structure have similar-sounding names. And also they"ve both come to be political targets in this election cycle. Past that, charities experts say, they have actually remarkably tiny in common. Yet the differences in between them could reveal something about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

"I think they"re two an extremely different species of charities," said Larry Noble, a lawyer in ~ the campaign Legal center in Washington, D.C. "One of castle is an extremely professionally run and also does a many work. The various other seems come be more loosely run. And seems to be an ext focused on Donald Trump."


The Trump structure has involved in documented, flagrant plot of violation. That"s yes, really different."


Pamela Mann, former head that the charities office in the new York lawyer general"s office


The most evident difference in between the two foundations is scale. The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, together it"s formally known, is huge. It has actually hundreds that employees and a $90 million budget. The Donald J. Trump Foundation, by contrast, is relatively small. It has actually no full-time employees and a budget plan of about $600,000.

During the evil presidential dispute earlier this month, Republican Mike Pence argued that the Clinton structure is usually a slush money for that founders.

"Less than 10 cents on the dollar in the Clinton structure has gone to charitable causes," Pence charged.

But charities experts say that statement is misleading.

"It"s based upon a misunderstanding," Noble said, "either intended or unintentional, of what kind of charitable foundation it is."

The Clinton foundation and involves of favors for huge donors

The Clinton structure is what"s referred to as a publicly charity. That way it largely raises money from various other people and also foundations (including, by the way, a gift of in between $100,000 and also $250,000 native the Trump foundation in 2009). The Clinton foundation spends that money top top things prefer HIV and malaria avoidance in Africa. It spends close to 90 cent of every disagreement it it s okay on charity causes, and also earns top marks indigenous watchdog groups.



But there"s another criticism the the Clinton Foundation, one the Donald trump card himself has actually raised top top the project trail.

"Her structure took in huge payments from significant corporations and also wealthy individuals, foreign and domestic, and all while she was secretary that state," Trump stated at a rally in Akron, Ohio, in August, because that example.

It"s true the the Clinton structure accepts money from rich donors, both within the U.S. And out. Emails between the staff at the Clinton foundation and State Department show that some of those donors wanted accessibility to Hillary Clinton, and that she did take it meetings with several of them together secretary of state. However there"s no evidence that big donors got any type of special favors indigenous the State Department.

Still, Noble said, appearances matter, "because we"re talking about government officials. And the worry is as soon as they obtain a huge contribution, that will affect the decision castle make. Also if, together secretary that state, she go not worry herself in ~ all through what huge donors wanted, civilization will think the it did, in fact, influence her. And it undermines the credibility of decisions."

The Trump structure and concerns beyond appearances

Charities professionals have an totally different collection of concerns around the Trump foundation — comes to that go beyond appearance.


"The Trump foundation has engaged in documented, flagrant plot of violation," said Pamela Mann, a former head the the charities office in the brand-new York lawyer general"s office. She is currently a companion at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, LLP. "That"s yes, really different."

The Trump foundation is arranged as a private foundation. It to be originally collection up to offer away Donald Trump"s money. Yet as reporting by the Washington short article shows, trumped hasn"t given any of his own money come the foundation since 2008. Instead, his structure raises money from various other donors, together it did in ~ a fundraiser because that veterans Trump hosted in January that raised $1.6 million in contributions, according to the trump card Foundation"s website.

But that obtained the Trump structure in trouble, because technically it"s no registered to expropriate donations in new York state, where it"s based. This month, new York"s attorney basic ordered the structure to protect against fundraising in the state.



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The Trump structure broke IRS rules, too, as soon as it do a donation to a superPAC supporting Florida Attorney general Pam Bondi in 2013. Trump"s structure has explained that contribution as a mistake and also says Trump paid a penalty to the IRS. However Mann, the previous charity watchdog, is skeptical.

"It argues that they"re not deeply concerned with play by the rules," Mann said. "It"s unclear whether that"s due to the fact that they don"t know what the rule are, or they are willfully skip the rules."

There are also questions around whether the Trump foundation has invested money on points it shouldn"t have, including two paints of trump himself, and also a Tim Tebow football helmet.

And there"s evidence that trump card never yielded on his promise come donate $10,000 to help victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. New York City Controller Scott Stringer, that supports Hillary Clinton, told glossesweb.com his office pored over audited financial documents for two huge charities in the year following the attacks and also found no donations native Trump.

"We found no proof Mr. Trumped contributed," Stringer said. "It"s possible he gave anonymously, or in various other ways. You"d have to ask him. Our review uncovered Mr. Trump go not, in fact, add to this groups."

The Trump project did not respond to requests because that comment.


The New York everyday News, which first reported the absence of donations come the funds, listed that trumped surrogate and also former new York market Rudy Giuliani said during the Republican nationwide Convention this summer the Trump provided anonymously.

But "a spokesman because that the controller"s office said the Daily News that the office did no find any type of anonymous donations in its evaluation of the previously audit."

All this leads Noble at the project Legal center to ask even if it is Trump is really as generous together he insurance claims to be. "It looks choose he"s trying to show up that he"s very charitable," Noble said. "But if girlfriend pull back the curtain, it"s grayer than that. It fits into a stare of him using the charity for objectives of self-promotion."


Trump might clarify exactly how generous that is personally by release his taxes returns, i m sorry would show charitable giving. Yet he has actually refused to perform so, saying that he is under audit. Over there is nothing, however, avoiding Trump native releasing his taxes returns while under audit or publication prior year of return no longer under audit.

The Clintons have released decades of taxation returns going ago to the 1970s. Those returns show much of the charity the Clintons have given has been to their own foundation.

And, that course, doubters argue that Hillary Clinton has actually used she family"s foundation to promote her very own political ambitions. And Noble agrees, to a point. But he says there"s critical distinction.


"In the Clinton Foundation, it"s really difficult to deny they"re doing an excellent work," Noble said. "I execute think it"s fair to say they may have actually been rather tone hearing disabled to several of the points they were doing. And I think the does play right into this specific narrative. And it"s a narrative she"s had actually to resolve anyway, around trustworthiness."

But Noble added that it would be a mistake come treat the allegations against the Trump and also Clinton foundations as equivalent. The two charities are about as various as the candidates themselves.

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convey Oct. 17, 2016

An previously version of this story misidentified Pamela Mann"s firm, Carter Ledyard & Milburn, LLP, together Carter Ledyard & Millbun, LLP.